Tennis opens with ‘W’
The GC men’s tennis team opened their season by defeating two rivals, and their rackets are ready for more.
The team won their first game against Morehouse with a score of 7-0, while their second game against Valdosta State had much higher stakes with a score of 4-3.
“It’s more anxious for the kids,” Barsby said. “I know they are going through whatever and you’re just hoping they can perform under pressure when it’s close.”
Barsby, who has been coaching the men’s tennis team for 19 years, said he hopes the players can keep their winning streak up so they can compete in the Peach Belt Conference.
“Our goal is obviously always to win almost all our matches,” Barsby said. “If we can compete for that PBC championship, we know we’re gonna be probably competing for a regional title or a national title.”
Wake Forest, who competes against GC in the PBC, won the national championship last year.
To help prepare for their matches and for the championship, the team members conditioned for at least four days a week during the offseason.
“I was back home in France for the summer, and I was working at a summer camp, so I would play with the kids that were there,” said junior Matt Rogel, a management major. “They were pretty good, so I was able to practice with them.”
The players condition from eight to 13 hours a week to keep in shape while in season. Barsby, however, tries to make sure the players are not overworked.
“Sometimes you get too caught up in the season, and you practice and practice and practice, and there might be a week where you really just need to [go to] Blackbird and let them relax a little bit,” Barsby said.
He added that hopes the younger players can pick up on the skills the older players possess. The team strives to remain focused and keep up the winning streak.
“We’re trying to be more focused on the importance of each shot and each point, not giving away free points,” said Rogel. “I feel like we were missing much more last semester.”
“The good thing about the spring is that you’ve got a lot more hours on court,” said junior Nathan Connelly. “There’s a lot more live points.”
The team looks forward to playing against North Georgia and Columbus State, two of the team’s biggest competitors.
Photo by Alex Bradley | Staff Photographer